Merchandise Safety – Pier 1 Imports’ Practices
Throughout our more than 40-year history, Pier 1 Imports has been committed to the safety of our merchandise. We believe this is essential in the operation of a responsible business and a vital part of earning customer trust, establishing brand loyalty, and maintaining market share. An overview of Pier 1 Imports’ practices related to merchandise safety follows.
Pier 1 Imports’ merchandise is sourced from hundreds of vendors located throughout the world, including the United States. We work with our vendors, to provide merchandise which conforms to applicable legal requirements, as well as our testing protocols. Each vendor is also responsible for compliance with Pier 1 Imports’ Code of Vendor Conduct.
Pier 1 Imports requires our vendors to supply quality merchandise that meets our Purchase Order terms and product specific testing requirements. Vendors are responsible for ensuring the merchandise is in compliance with these terms and requirements. If a vendor fails to comply, we have the right to cancel the order or require the vendor to take corrective action. Continuation of the vendor’s business relationship with Pier 1 Imports is tied to ongoing compliance.
Pier 1 Imports has for many years proactively engaged in merchandise safety. We communicate with our buyers, agents and vendors concerning regulatory testing, labeling and registration requirements. We work directly with third party laboratories in the ongoing development of testing protocols, which are designed to address both regulatory and safety concerns.
Our employees are involved with a number of product safety related organizations, such as ASTM (American Society of Testing and Materials), ICPHSO (International Consumer Product Health and Safety Organization), NCA (National Candle Association), Society of Glass and Ceramic Decorators and the Toy Industry Association. Involvement with these organizations allows Pier 1 Imports to provide guidance to senior management, buyers, agents and vendors concerning new and recent developments in safety standards and consumer concerns pertaining to the merchandise we offer.
Pier 1 Imports has established relationships with a number of internationally recognized testing laboratories, such as Bureau Veritas and SGS. We routinely use third party testing to independently verify that merchandise meets or exceeds regulatory requirements. The use of independent labs compliments any testing performed or directed by a vendor. Currently, approximately 70 different testing protocols have been developed and implemented. Examples include testing for lead in paint, compliance with UL standards and safety and appropriate age grading of toys.
In addition to testing, on-site inspections of merchandise purchased from overseas vendors are conducted by our agents at production or consolidation facilities prior to our acceptance of the product. Inspection reports are sent to our quality assurance group to identify potential issues prior to shipment. Merchandise is often re-inspected upon receipt in our distribution centers to ensure that the merchandise distributed to our stores meets all required performance and quality standards.
In the event of a merchandise safety issue, Pier 1 Imports conducts a review of relevant information and provides appropriate guidance. If necessary, we coordinate and work closely with the Consumer Products Safety Commission, Health Canada and other regulatory agencies to conduct a recall of the affected product. As a result of our diligent oversight and the above testing and inspection controls relating to tens of thousands of merchandise items offered for sale by Pier 1 Imports during the past 15 years, we have experienced less than 15 product recalls, all of which were voluntary.
Customs Trade Partnership Against Terrorism (“C-TPAT”) is a joint government-business initiative to build cooperative relationships that strengthen U.S. and international supply chain security. C-TPAT requires participants to document and validate their supply chain security procedures. U.S. Customs and Border Protection has undertaken a thorough review of our security practices related to merchandise as it moves through our supply chain and has awarded Pier 1 Imports Tier II certification. We strive to ensure that all eligible parties in our supply chain are C-TPAT certified. This includes ocean carriers, overseas consolidators and domestic transportation carriers.
Pier 1 Imports continually refines the above business practices to minimize the safety risks associated with merchandise sourced throughout the world. Our efforts to ensure merchandise safety and Vendor Accountability reflect our values and commitment to consistently meet and exceed customer expectations.